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Journal Article


Peterson HL. J. Pol. Pract. 2017; 16(2): 187-204.


(Copyright © 2017, Informa - Taylor and Francis Group)






Historically, justifications for the seclusion and physical restraint of hospital patients have stereotyped individuals with mental illness as "dangerous" to themselves and others (Huckshorn, 2004a). It can be argued, however, that it is the policies that regulate the use of seclusion and physical and chemical restraints that are dangerous. This article analyzes the Patients' Rights section of the Hospital Conditions of Participation (CoPs), Part 482 of CFR 42, including sub-sections: e. Standard: Restraint or seclusion; f. Standard: Restraint or seclusion: Staff training requirements; and g. Standard: Death reporting requirements. The set of CoPs regarding Patients' Rights are analyzed from a value-critical, process-oriented perspective. This article proposes the following six-point framework as uniquely suited to evaluating 42 CFR 428.13: 1) introduction to the background and historical significance of the problem; 2) evaluation of the clarity and measurability of the goals and objectives of the policy; 3) overview of the intended impact of the policy; 4) examination of the value criteria; 5) examination of existing power struggles for those impacted by the policy; and 6) examination of the actual impact of the policy.

RESULTS of the policy analysis suggest that the policy does not go far enough to reach its stated goals and objectives in full. In the conclusions, suggestions for further protection of patients' rights are provided. Examples of alternatives to restraint and seclusion are discussed. Finally, the grave importance of reshaping the culture of mental health care, in terms of life-and-death consequences, is considered.

Language: en


Patients’ rights; psychiatric hospitalization; restraint; seclusion


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